Brian Garbrecht: Top-notch arts education possible at ECC

  • Tags: Achievements | Commencement | Student Profile
Published 12/16/2019
December 2019 graduate Brian Garbrecht

December 2019 graduate Brian Garbrecht

After being injured on the job, I decided to go back to school so I could pursue a happier/healthier life. I chose Elgin Community College because of how close it is to my home, but I soon discovered it was the best place for me. After a few semesters, I started taking art classes and never looked back.

The professors and classes here at ECC are top-notch and allowed me to find my creative voice. Also, as a student worker in the on-campus art galleries, I have gained so much knowledge and professional experience thanks to the wonderful curators I have worked with, including current curator, Juan Fernandez.

As a part of my photography classes, my professor, Travis Linville, got me involved with SPE (Society for Photographic Education). I was recently awarded a scholarship to attend the 2020 national SPE convention in Houston, where some of my photographs will be exhibited. Through meeting other photography students at these conferences, I have seen first-hand how unique the experience is at ECC. We are offered a wide variety of unique photo classes that rival universities and expensive art schools.

Thanks to the experience, skills, and opportunities I have gained here at ECC, I have been able to put together a resume that rivals those of graduate students and professionals. Photographs I made while attending ECC have been shown in art galleries across the country, including San Francisco, Dallas, Chicago, New York City, and more. In the fall of 2020, I will begin work towards my BFA. I hope to attend Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, but I have not made my final decision yet.

I can’t tell you enough how much I have appreciated my time here at ECC and what it means to me to be graduating with my associate degree in the arts while remaining debt-free.


Brian Garbrecht '19

Associate in Arts